Our Philosophy

Elementary School Counseling services are an integral part of the total school program and complement learning in the classroom. A school guidance program reaches every student and will focus on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for successful academic achievement, career development, and personal/social growth. Services are child-centered, proactive, and developmental. Our professional school counselors spend their time working directly with students to maximize the benefits every student will receive from the program. This will be accomplished through the use of School Counseling Curriculum, Individual Student Planning, Responsive Services, and System Support. School counseling services are comprehensive in scope, preventative in design, developmental in nature, and intended to enhance the potential of ALL elementary students.

Therefore, as an educational system we believe we can teach all children and all children can learn. We believe accessing knowledge, reasoning, questioning, and problem solving are the foundations for learning in an ever-changing world. We believe education enables students to recognize and strive for higher standards. Consequently, we will commit our efforts to help students acquire knowledge and attitudes considered valuable in order to develop their potential and/or their career and lifetime aspirations.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cooperation: Teaming Up for Success

Happy last day of January! For February we'll be working on cooperation skills like social interaction, taking responsibility, sharing, how to apologize. This week 2nd grade is watching a movie from the book Strega Nona...great lesson in learning responsibility and being dependable = cooperation. Check it out!
Here's a link to a color sheet from Tomi dePaola, too.http://www.tomie.com/images/coloring_pages/coloring_strega.gif

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spaghetti in a Hotdog Bun

Here's a link to the author's website of that sweet book Jan shared with us last year, Spaghetti in a Hotdog Bun.
Great lessons, color sheets, bookmark.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Kid-Friendly Career Websites

Today, Robin shared a fun way she helped prepare her 5th and 6th graders for "the real world", in addition to having ETS come. Chad shared a couple websites with me that I plan to use with 4th-6th this spring and sounds like they are along those same lines as the PPT Robin made. Check these websites out...maybe Robbi wouldn't mind sharing, too!  :)


Friday, January 13, 2012

Monthly Newsletter Posts

The monthly newsletters have been updated...near as I can tell, Blogger did some 'updates' that excluded some posts. I found them at:
 http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=2778647880392639245#publishedcomments although I haven't been able to figure out how to expand each post  :/   ...so I as i told Tanya...I still learning!
I'm hoping to get some help from Desiree. Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Grandma Rose and Simon's Hook

I found two videos that go with Simon's Hook-book about teasing...great addition instead of reading the book.  :)


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Does Childhood Stress Stay with You for Your Whole Life?

No matter how big the toothless smiles, how many toys are packed into the playroom, how perfect the family holiday photo seems, many children experience some kind of stress while they are growing up thatone researcher says could stay with them into adulthood.

Related: Can kids "catch" your stress? 
"If a child has a pervasive sense of adversity in his or her childhood for whatever reason, the brain responds to that kind of hardship by becoming more sensitized to stress," Dr. Rajita Sinha, director of the Yale Stress Center, recently explained to CNN.

The brain becomes hard-wired to react more strongly, she says, making that person more likely to have a greater reaction to stress than people who do not have a similar history.

What childhood stress is so big that is burrows into the brains for decades? Research points to pain, illness, and injury as major stressors for kids. But a child's stress level can increase to "severe" during family conflicts such as divorce, abuse, witnessing violence, financial crisis, the death of a loved one, or a parent who suffers from addiction or mental health problems.

While anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can even be OK for children to navigate, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, some people experience excessive levels of anxiety. One in eight children are affected by an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, including those who are deemed to have post-traumatic stress disorder.

While humans are "adaptive animals," Sinha says many children are experiencing stress before their ability to deal with it is completely developed. The adversity in their young lives therefore leads to a higher overall stress level into adulthood.
"The stress pathway is developing during childhood. The stress system needs time to grow and become fully functional," Sinha says.

Small children under stress are sources of concern, according to her studies. But she also sees adolescents, who are more likely to self-isolate, as particularly vulnerable. Teenagers' stress symptoms may range from sleep difficulty to overeating to school truancy to taking pain medication unnecessarily.

While parents may not be able to completely shield children from stressors -- a kid's home life might be magical but they may encounter a bully in Sunday school or suddenly lose a grandparent to cancer -- Sinha says parents, teachers, and caregivers can help build resistance and optimism when kids experience stress.

"Things happen. Families will face adversities. But if parents, teachers, and other adults are helping to guide children by talking about the trauma and providing them with adaptive skills, then those children will be more inclined toward protection and resilience, as opposed to risk."

How can we help protect our kids from becoming over-stressed adults?

1. Seek social support
. Sinha says that interacting with others and garnering family support is a primary way we can protect kids from the risks of stress.

2. Embrace education and intellectual challenges.
 Children are more likely to learn to navigate tough stuff if they are challenged in a safe environment like school, she reports. Teachers that encourage students to think abstractly, for example, are helping their brain develop in ways that will serve stressed children in the moment and, perhaps, in the long term.

3. Develop optimism and tactics to control emotions. Parents and other adults who are active in a child's life may be able to help protect kids from carrying stress forward in such significant ways. A University of Wisconsin-Madison study revealed that a mother's voice, whether during a conversation or phone call or whisper during a hug, can produce significant biochemical responses that soothe stressed children. Another study of 405 inner-city children showed that yoga instruction boosted the kids' self-esteem and grades and decreased behavioral problems associated with the stress of poverty in South Central Los Angeles. Getting enough sleep consistently has also been shown to help children deal with stress more effectively. Some even say a little playful, safe roughhousing can do kids (and parents) a world of good.