January 2021 School Counselor Newsletter
Dear St. John Families,
Happy New Year! I hope you had a joyful and restful winter break and are feeling energized as we return to school. Now that we’re back at school, I’m very excited to begin my second trimester social-emotional learning (SEL) groups.
SEL groups are one of my key interventions to support students in kindergarten through fifth grade who need extra help with a particular social or emotional skill (e.g., emotional regulation, anxiety, coping skills, friendship, etc.) Groups are formed with 3-5 same-grade peers and meet for 30-minutes a week during the school day for 6-8 consecutive weeks.
If you believe that your child needs some additional social or emotional support and would like them to be considered for a group, please fill out this online form. The deadline to refer your child for the upcoming round of groups is Friday, January 15th.
Please note: I cannot guarantee a space for every student who is referred to my groups. However, I make every effort to get each student who is referred to me into a group rotation at some point during the school year. In the coming weeks, I will work with teachers to determine who will be in the upcoming round of groups, prioritizing students who need immediate support and those who were not able to participate in the first trimester.
In addition to my SEL groups, I continue to offer the following supports for all of our students:
- Google Classroom (K-5th Grade): The theme in my classroom this month is Friendship. All of the lessons and activities this month address things we can do to make and keep friends. Please contact me if your child is not in my classroom and you would like for them to be added.
- Virtual Calming Room (Middle School): Students are invited to check out my Virtual Calming Room. This site has many resources to support positive mental health, including: guided meditations and breathing videos, journaling prompts, yoga videos, and more.
- 1-on-1 Counseling (All students): I’m available to work with students as requested on a goal-oriented, short-term basis. Please email me to arrange this service.
If I can do anything at all to support your child or family, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I work with students and families throughout the week and would be more than happy to do anything I can to support you!
- Looking for tangible advice on things you can do to support your teen’s mental health? Check out this article, Listen and Connect: How Parents Can Support Teens’ Mental Health Right Now. If you’re hungry for more strategies to support and connect with your teen, Space Between is offering a free workshop on March 2nd called, Get Centered: Strategies for Supporting and Connecting with Your Teen.
- Great Conversations is an excellent local organization that offers classes and presentations for preteens and parents on subjects such as puberty, sexuality, and other topics relevant to children during these pivotal years. They have three upcoming talks for parents, as well as two programs for children ages 9-12 called Body Talk and The Chat. All of these programs have sessions beginning later this month and tend to fill up quickly due to their popularity.
- As a school counselor, one of my biggest roles is teaching kids coping skills for how to calm down. There are so many different strategies that we can use to help regulate our feelings and it’s important to keep in mind that not all strategies work for all kids. That’s where this great Coping Skills Quick Guide comes in! This guide has tons of excellent ideas and breaks coping skills into six different categories. I invite you to check it out and help your child try something new!
- Aspiring Youth is a fantastic local organization that offers social skills groups for children ages 8-18. With COVID limiting social opportunities, your child may be yearning for more social time. I’d highly encourage you to take a look at their winter group offerings. All of their groups are virtual and they have a great variety, from a Girls Group and Arts and Movement Group, to a Roblox Group and Pokémon Group, among others!