I help students work through different conflicts that may occur here at school on the playground, in the cafeteria, on the bus or in their classroom. I can help to facilitate a conversation, practice and role-play with children before speaking with a friend, or provide other strategies for students to try on their own. If the student still feels that they need some help solving the conflict I will reach out to teachers or parents dependent on the situation.
Individual and Small Group Counseling
I meet with students individually to talk about feelings to help with friendships, schoolwork, family or anything that they may need help working through. The counselor meets with students who need to talk about their feelings regarding topics such as friendship, schoolwork, or family issues.
Throughout the year, small group counseling occurs with 2-4 students. Group topics include such areas as friendships, social skills, coping strategies, changes in family, feelings, and organization. Parents, teachers, and students can request that a child participates in a particular group.
Students are also able to refer themselves to the guidance office through self-referral mailboxes throughout the building. Many times children seek me out for a friendship problem, a conflict with a peer, or family changes. If children are seeing me on an ongoing basis, you will receive contact from me and a permission slip to receive my services. Parents, teachers, and support staff can refer a child to the guidance counselor. Parents are notified if more than a few meetings are scheduled with a student.
Throughout the school year students have the opportunity to join a lunch group. Lunch groups take place once a week, typically for 6-8 weeks. This gives students the opportunity to eat lunch with the counselor and a small group of their peers. Children are often given the option of bringing another student with them to lunch bunch. Students can join a lunch bunch for a variety of reason such as:
- being new to WES
- help making new friends or reconnecting with friends from previous years
- benefit from some extra TLC or self-esteem boost
New Student Orientation
At the beginning of the year, I welcome to students to WES by leaving a welcome card on their desks. For students who join us at the beginning of the year, I also invite them to join me in a lunch bunch to check in after the first few weeks of school. If they need additional help transitioning I provide a lunch bunch where they can get to know other new students and learn a little more about our school. As students join our school throughout the year I will check-in with them and provide opportunities to help transition as needed.
Classroom Guidance is taught by Rebecca Schwam during Library once a month. During the school year, she teaches the Second Step Program for Kindergarten through 2nd grade classrooms. It teaches students empathy, impulse control and anger management. In addition, for 3rd and 4th grade Rebecca uses Steps for Respect, which is a bullying prevention program. Students learn how to recognize, refuse, and report bullying. Lastly, 5th grade participates in our Positive Psychology Program. Students learn to explore their character traits by recognizing their strengths. You will see many projects come home during this program in which you will be asked to participate.