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Counselors News Archive:

May 8, 2023
May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The Department of Education makes available a variety of resources for educators on this topic. Check out this one-page summary of resources for educators or visit our Mental Health webpage to learn more.

April 4, 2023
Hagen-Harvey Scholarship applications due April 14

The Richard Hagen-Minera Harvey Memorial Scholarship is for enrolled members of American Indian tribes. Funds are to be used for students attending a public or non-public accredited university, college, or technical college in South Dakota. Deadline to apply is April 14.

Feb. 6, 2023
Save the date for South Dakota Week of Work

The 2023 South Dakota Week of Work is set for April 3-7. This timeline is intended to help you prepare your school and community. This week is the perfect time to host interactive opportunities connecting students with local businesses. It's also an opportunity to publicly celebrate the wonderful things your school does for work-based learning all year long. There will be a celebration kit coming soon to with printable templates and resources. The website also has a library of virtual career videos that can be used on demand. Questions about Week of Work? Email Kristin Larson at DOE.

Feb. 1, 2023
SD-STARS Reports Overview for School Counselors

Don't miss out on a webinar offered specifically for school counselors by SD-STARS staff on reports that may be useful in the school counseling setting as it pertains to making data-informed interventions and decisions. This webinar is part of a three-month SD-STARS webinar series covering a variety of topics. The webinar will be recorded. For questions, contact Jay Lamb.

Jan. 30, 2023
Second set of mental health posters now available

Visit the department's Mental Health Poster Campaign webpage to see the five new posters available and learn more about this free opportunity. These posters will also be available in Spanish and Karen soon. Want to order poster holders? The order form is available on the poster webpage as well. Questions? Please email Rebecca Cain for more information.

Jan. 30, 2023
FREE workshops address crisis preparation

The University of South Dakota School Psychology program has partnered with several state agencies, including the Department of Education, to provide PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Response training to South Dakota schools at NO COST. The purpose of the training is to improve and strengthen school safety, crisis management, and emergency response plans. Two different workshops will be offered beginning in February and with dates throughout the spring. See the schedule and learn more about the training.

Jan. 17, 2023
Teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) training available at no cost to districts

tMHFA is a program that teaches teens in grades 10-12 the skills they need to identify signs of a mental health or substance use challenge in their friends and peers, to have supportive conversations, and to get help from a responsible and trusted adult. For more information, please contact your local Prevention Resource Center, and they can connect you to facilitators in your area.

Jan. 9, 2023
Telemental health services in schools

Through a partnership with the Department of Social Services (DSS), schools have the opportunity to support students in receiving mental health services at no charge to the school. This partnership will provide schools with additional support in helping students and their families access available mental health services as well as an understanding of when/how to refer students for mental health services. Visit our Mental Health webpage (Telemental Health in Schools heading) or contact Rebecca Cain for more information.

Dec. 29, 2022
New SD school counselor resources available

We have posted two new school counselor resources on the School Counseling webpage. More resources will be published in the future. Questions? Contact Andrea Albrecht.

Dec. 29, 2022
Youth Trooper Academy application window open

High school juniors and seniors with an interest in law enforcement are encouraged to apply for the 2023 Youth Trooper Academy, hosted by the South Dakota Highway Patrol and American Legion.
The academy will take place in Pierre June 26-30, 2023. Application deadline: March 25, 2023.
Questions? Contact Lieutenant Tony Maunu (605-773-2231).

Dec. 15, 2022
Seeking workgroup members for SD School Counseling Model

The South Dakota Department of Education is seeking workgroup members to help create an updated South Dakota School Counseling Model. This model aims to provide a framework for planning and implementing a comprehensive school counseling program in South Dakota, aligned with national school counseling best practices, with input on how school counseling works in South Dakota to impact student achievement and success. Learn more about qualifications and expectations on the workgroup member application. Application deadline: Jan. 12.

Nov. 30, 2022
Safe2Say South Dakota now active
Safe2Say South Dakota is a statewide tip line that allows South Dakota students, school staff, and community members to safely and anonymously report sensitive information that concerns their safety or the safety of others, including mental health concerns. Safe2Say South Dakota operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anyone with information about a potentially dangerous situation can call the toll-free number at 1-844-3SD-SAFE (1-844-373-7233), make a web report by clicking the Submit a Tip Online button, or by downloading the mobile app and making a report from a smartphone or digital device. Questions? Contact the SD School Safety Center.

Oct. 31, 2022
South Dakota school counselor resources available
We have posted two new school counselor resources on our School Counseling webpage. More resources will be published in the future. Questions? Contact Andrea Albrecht.

  • 14 Tips for New School Counselors: This is a joint document from the South Dakota Department of Education (DOE) and South Dakota School Counselor Association.
  • Appropriate Duties within a School Counselor's Role: This best practice guide is for school counselors, administrators, and teachers as they discuss division of duties within a school building. Please note DOE does not mandate appropriate duties for school counselors.

Oct. 31, 2022
UPDATED: South Dakota Hot Careers and related resources
The South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation, Labor Market Information Center, has updated its list of hot careers (high demand-high wage occupations). Related resources are updated as well, including the following:

Check out additional career publications applicable to elementary, middle, high school, and beyond from the Labor Market Information Center.

Oct. 27, 2022
Paying for College SD
The online video series, Paying for College SD, teaches prospective college students and their families how to carefully consider their education options and make informed decisions about how to pay for college. It features advice from South Dakotans as well as footage from SD state colleges and universities. This project was produced in partnership with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills, the South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center, and the Career Learning Center of the Black Hills, a division of Black Hills Special Services Cooperative through a grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation. Questions? Contact Kelsey Smith.

Oct. 6, 2022
Free, online tutoring available for K-12 students
South Dakota students and families can access a new, online tutoring program, staffed by college students who are preparing to become teachers. The Dakota Dreams Online Tutoring Program offers FREE online tutoring to K-12 students. One-on-one tutoring sessions can help students with their homework, tackle specific trouble areas, and address broader educational concepts. Families must first register their students to access the service.

Sept. 19, 2022
September is Suicide Prevention Month
Suicide is the leading cause of death among youth aged 10-19. Educators have the power to make a difference. Reach out to Becky Cain in our Office of Student Wellness and Supports if you need ideas about where to start. As of July 16, 988 is the national three-digit phone number for all mental health, substance use, and suicide crises. Materials are available for schools to order to help promote 988 and BeThe1SD.

Sept. 19, 2022
Connect students with career possibilities
The Future Workforce Finder is an online matching system that gives students and businesses across South Dakota a new way to connect. The goal of the Future Workforce Finder is two-fold: attract potential employees for business and industry and allow students to explore careers available in their home state. South Dakota businesses have begun to register and showcase student opportunities like internships, job shadows, tours, and classroom visits. Educators can now create accounts and start exploring opportunities. Educators are also encouraged to share this resource with businesses in their community and encourage them to sign up if they haven't done so already. This employer engagement resource for schools offers tips for deepening connections with businesses in your community..

Sept. 19, 2022
Contact sheet for school counselors updated
Wondering who to contact for what at the South Dakota Department of Education? A contact sheet has been updated with a list of contacts who may be beneficial for school counselors to contact when needing support.

Sept. 19, 2022
School counseling annual calendar template updated
A calendar template is available for download/modification for school counselors to use within their own school counseling program settings. The template may be useful in the management and delivery of a comprehensive school counseling program. NOTE: The template is in "View Only" mode, so either make a copy in your own Google Drive or download it to your computer to make modifications.

July 1, 2022
Is your school truly PREPaREd to respond to a crisis?
Do you have plans in place to keep your students not only physically safe, but also psychologically safe in the event of a crisis? The state currently has grant funding to make PREPaRE workshops available at no cost to school professionals across South Dakota. Find more information on these workshops. Questions? Email

July 1, 2022
Mental Health Poster Campaign
The South Dakota Department of Education is providing free 8.5" x 11" clear, acrylic wall mount sign holders for your school district to use in your restrooms to provide helpful mental health information and resources for your middle and high school students. The department creates the signs and posts them on our website for you to print. Find out more about this campaign.