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School Counseling & Social Work Services

 

Brittany BueckersSchool Counselor (Grades 1, 3, 5)

Cold Spring Elementary 

bueckersb@rocori.k12.mn.us

 

Kathy van der HagenSchool Counselor (Grades K, 2, 4)

Cold Spring Elementary

vanderhagenk@rocori.k12.mn.us

 

Ambur ChaikaSchool Social Worker

John Clark Elementary & Richmond Elementary

chaikaa@rocori.k12.mn.us

 

The Role of the Elementary School Counselor/Social Worker

 

Meeting the Challenge 

Elementary school counselors/social workers are professional educators with a mental health perspective who understand and respond to the challenges presented by today’s diverse student population. School counselors/social workers work as a team with the school staff, parents and the community to create a caring climate and atmosphere. By providing education, prevention, early identification and intervention, school counselors can help ALL children achieve academic success. 

 

Elementary School Students’ Developmental Needs 

The elementary years are a time when students begin to develop their academic self-concept and their feelings of competence and confidence as learners. They are beginning to develop decision-making, communication and life skills, as well as character values. It is also a time when students develop and acquire attitudes toward school, self, peers, social groups and family. Comprehensive developmental school counseling/social work programs provide education, prevention and intervention services, which are integrated into all aspects of children’s lives. Early identification and intervention of children’s academics and personal/social needs is essential in removing barriers to learning and in promoting academic achievement. The knowledge, attitudes and skills that students acquire in the areas of academic, career and personal/social development during these elementary years serve as the foundation for future success. 

 

Elementary School CounselorS / Social Workers implement the Counseling Program by providing the following: 

  •  Individual Counseling – For students who have behavioral concerns, various mental health concerns, and/or situational stressors
  • Small Group Counseling – For students who share a common history, challenge, or struggle
  • Consultation – With teachers and parents/guardians to provide strategies to help struggling learners and learners with behavioral/ mental health needs in the classroom
  • Character Education – Support teachers in delivering classroom guidance and Character Strong lessons – a school-wide program to promote a healthy school community and develop positive character traits
  • Community Communication – Working with outside agencies to help obtain services and enable communication about students who need outside assistance
  • Committee Work – Working on various committees that work to improve the opportunities for students to succeed (for example:  Early Intervention Team – a multidisciplinary team that meets to discuss students who are struggling and brainstorm effective ways to help them) 
  • Crisis Response – Dealing with the daily issues that arise within a school 

 

Essentially, the school counselor/social worker's role is to work with students, teachers, parents, and outside agencies to best meet the individual needs of each student (both academic and social/emotional) so that students can be maximally successful in and out of the classroom.